Film and TV

The Killing: "What You Have Left"

Preparations for Rosie Larsen's funeral, juxtaposing somber funeral home preparations (It's like the opening of the The Big Chill, only without the classic rock soundtrack or promise of sex with JoBeth Williams) with scenes of the family getting themselves ready to say their final goodbyes. It takes us to the heart of the Larsen family's grief, and reminds us what makes the show so powerful at times.

Detective Linden is also shown looking at pictures of missing girls, leading us to consider the serial killer angle, She and her son are allegedly flying out on the redeye that night, and frankly it's getting a little tired that the writers keep trotting out her impending departure like there's a chance in hell of that happening.

It's a nice kick in the teeth for the latest campaign ad to show Richmond next to Bennett Ahmed. I know I said last week that there's now way the teacher did it, and I'm sticking with that, but...he's making it hard. First, he reverses himself about not having seen Rosie after the dance, admitting she came by his house around 10 drop off a book. What book, he couldn't say. He also refuses to let Linden and Holder in without a warrant.

Trouble is, after having the dance footage looked at again, the detectives learn Bennett was at school until 11:20, and that his wife Amber didn't get to her sister's house until almost 1 a.m.. And she was very upset about her husband "keeping secrets."

Then their neighbor with a telescope (everybody should have one) also lets them know he saw Bennett and an unidentified woman put an "unmoving" woman in a car, which the woman then drove away. This after another neighbor tells them he saw Rosie come by the house at 10,and he would know because he's got "excellent eyes." And everybody shares a knowing wink and nod about how the Somali teacher is a Living Colour fan. I mean, muslim.

The Ahmeds apparently live in the creepiest neighborhood in Seattle.

All this circumlocution is essentially just to throw Bennett's wife into the suspect mix. Did Amber hurt Rosie? She didn't kill her, because Rosie was still alive when the car went in the water. Obviously we're missing some significant steps between A and Z. Holder still wants Bennett picked up. He also meets again with his AA sponsor/dealer/CIA informant and learns about Stan's mob background.

The only other significant reveal is that Mitch's sister - Rosie's aunt - appears to have had a thing with Jasper the Punk's rich father. That's the only explanation I have for the awkward meet-and-greet at the funeral, and the way she drowns her sorrows in a bottle of wine and Neko Case's Fox Confessor Brings the Flood. On vinyl, no less.

And lest we forget, Big Stan is getting increasingly pissed off. I hope the funeral provides the Larsens with the opportunity to move beyond grief and into unwise vigilante justice, because the show's really been lacking gratuitious beatdowns to this point. Sure enough, Stan gets the word the cops are looking into Bennett at the funeral...and the guy's right there! In possibly the most unwise decision made by a teacher since Mary Kay LeTourneau, Bennett agrees to let Stan give him a ride home.

Richmond's political campaign continues to be the weak(est) link in the show. Jamie's "Who you are is five words: 'dead girl in a trunk'" is pretty harsh, but that about sums up the campaign at this point. He's also advised to "cut the teacher loose" or risk unspecified damage to his political future, but because Richmond is apparently the only politician who doesn't actually want to win an election, he refuses to condemn the guy. At episode's end, he's had his ass handed to him by the mayor in their debate, meaning there's no way he can possibly recover.

Unless the mayor killed Rosie. More on that next week.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar